The seventh edition of our private debt ranking is the biggest yet. It is also the most diverse, and although North American asset management groups are still the most represented, their dominance has lessened.

That is not because they themselves have slowed down or gone into decline but testament to the progress that others have been making. Based on a simple metric – capital raised over the last five years for discrete private debt strategies, as has been the case since we first compiled the PDI 30 in 2013 – the ranking provides insight into the capital raising success of the top firms and how that has evolved.

The capital raised over five years by PDI 50’s class of 2018 was around $700 billion. That itself was a staggering amount, but a year later the five-year fundraising total for the latest list has grown to more than $775 billion. That is not the only staggering growth figure. This year, the capital raised by the top 30 is just north of $643 billion, almost double the $322 billion raised by the PDI 30 in our first list seven years ago.

Other changing dynamics are similarly impressive. M&G Investments was the only European firm in the inaugural top 10. Although it remains a top 10 firm today, it is no longer the highest-ranking European firm; that honour goes to fifth-placed AXA Investment Managers, which is one of three European firms in the top 10.

There were also no Asian firms in 2013’s top 30. This year, AMP Capital comes in at number 26, while the PDI 50 also includes two Hong Kong-based managers.

New faces

There are half a dozen firms that were not part of the 2018 list. One of these is CVC Credit Partners, which has appeared once before, in 2017. The others are completely new: MetLife Investment Management, BlueBay Asset Management (now Arcmont Asset Management), Pemberton Capital Advisors, Permira Debt Managers and SSG Capital Management – one of the two Hong Kong-headquartered firms.

Some things do not change, and for all that a few European firms have muscled their way into the upper reaches, the top of the ranking remains stubbornly consistent. Five of the top 10 firms have been in the top 10 in every single version of the list. Lone Star Funds has never been outside the top four.

For that reason, the top-ranked firm of 2019 provides a welcome change. Ares Management Corporation has been in the top 10 before, but never previously first and only reached the top four for the first time last year. In 2015, it was as far down the list as 22nd.

So, things do change, and even patterns that seem well established one year can look different the next. We are building a very clear picture of how the private debt market continues to grow and the 2019

PDI 50 is the largest and most interesting list yet. Long may this progress continue.